A non-serious guide to the 2016 Australian Senate ballot paper
Confused by the array of minor parties on the Senate Ballot Paper for the 2016 Australian Election?
You're in the right place.
An unofficial, offbeat, and irreverent guide to Australian politics
Figuring out how to vote in the Senate is a daunting task. There's all these strange parties you've never heard of, with odd names and no information about what they represent or what they stand for. To help you out, we've created a handy guide to all the strange parties on the ballot. This is the first election where you can vote above the line in the senate and have your votes go to only the parties that you want them to go to, so make it count!
Don't forget: This is Australia - you can't waste your vote!
Disclaimer: This list makes no claim to be unbiased, even-handed, or even accurate. It is not associated with any party or political group (though the author does lean leftwards). It is definitely not endorsed by the Electoral Commission.
NEW! Create a printable cheat-sheet for your Senate ballot on the day!

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Derryn Hinch thinks he can toughen up state bail laws and sentences for paedophiles by running for the wrong branch of government.
Political leaning: Right wing
Likes: Contempt of court, breaching suppression orders, "Tough on crime", public database of sex offenders
Dislikes: Paedophiles, domestic violence, animal violence
"Compulsory voting is undemocratic"
- Derryn Hinch
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Doesn't actually have a name on the ballot, apparently due to "stupid new electoral laws ". Seem fairly centrist.
Political leaning: Centrist-ish
Likes: Free education, healthcare, maternity leave, the environment
Dislikes: Electoral laws
"We reject this suppression of democracy. We are standing! If poor electoral law obliges us to be known as 'Group B' then so be it."
- AD website
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Single-issue party focused on animal liberation. Doesn't like animals being used for scientific research or entertainment.
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: Animals
Dislikes: Animal cruelty, animal experimentation
"Eventually we'd like to be involved in all the parliamentary committees because there isn't a single decision-making process in government that doesn't impact on animals somewhere along the way."
- Frankie Seymour, AJP
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The current opposition. According to their critics, they are a bunch of left wing economic job destroyers who are also so right wing that they are no different to the Liberals.
Political leaning: Centre Left
Likes: Imprisoning children, not imprisoning unions, gays, Gonski reforms
Dislikes: Liberal party members, cuts to medicare
- Bill Shorten
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Generally progressive party. Like science and science-based stuff. Have formed an alliance with their natural allies, the cyclists.
Political leaning: Left-ish
Likes: Science, bicycles, Gonski reforms, emissions trading schemes, nuclear energy and GMO's
Dislikes: Monarchy, war, people who hate science/bicycles,
"All of the problems in the world at the moment are solvable through science but when you've got parties cutting funding to the CSIRO that makes that difficult,"
- Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, Science Party
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Mainly just a money-fuelled vehicle for transporting Clive Palmer's gigantic ego. Clive Palmer isn't actually running for parliament himself this time. His party is basically dead.
Political leaning: Centre-Right
Likes: Dinosaur Golf Courses, the Titanic and napping in question time
Dislikes: Anyone who questions Clive Palmer, taxes in Tasmania
"I think the Greens in this coming state election, all their candidates should resign if they are being funded by an offshore political power. It is tantamount to treason. Something needs to be done about it."
- Clive Palmer, on his belief the Greens are funded by the CIA
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She's good on veterans issues and drugs, but not far off Pauline Hanson on the rest.
Political leaning: Right wing
Likes: The army
Dislikes: Sharia Law, The Chinese Government, gays
"I'm looking for someone with heaps of cash, a package between their legs and I don't need them to speak."
- Jacqui Lambie
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Conservative christians. Says that christianity forms the 'common core values' of Australian society. For people who hate gays but aren't quite vicious enough to vote for Fred Nile.
Political leaning: Right-ish
Likes: National Disability Insurance Scheme, internet censorship
Dislikes: Islam, gays, sex, drugs
"By calling themselves Australian Christians they could very easily give the impression during an election campaign that they are speaking for all adherents to the Christian faith, and what I know of the party, they really do not represent the broad scope of Christianity."
- Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier
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The party for racists who don't actually want to admit it and idiots who believe that Australia is 'full'. One of only two parties to campaign for lower immigration (the other is One Nation). Claims to be anti-discrimination and pro-immigration but also wants to reduce the number of immigrants by two-thirds so perhaps just confused about what those words mean.
Political leaning: Centrist-ish
Likes: Wearing thongs with the Australian flag printed on
Dislikes: Muslims. Sometimes the Chinese. Being called racist.
"There's only one serious solution to our inundated roads. It is decent public transport and lower immigration."
- William Bourke, SA
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A left-libertarian party. Oppose restrictions on piracy and internet censorship. Interestingly also support a Universal Basic Income. Also some suggestion of direct democracy.
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: UBI, Internet freedom
Dislikes: Internet censorship, getting busted for torrenting game of thrones
"Our name might seem silly at first, but you have to remember everyone has been called a "pirate" for the last few decades."
- Pirate party FAQ
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The official party in Australia of the Fourth International. For *really* edgy university students.
Political leaning: Far Left
Likes: Leon Trotsky, the working class, social equality, democratic rights,
Dislikes: Stalin, imperialism, war, banks
"Capitalism - the ultimate cause of war, exploitation and social inequality."
- Socialist Equality Website
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Formerly known as the 'Natural Medicine party'. Anti-vaccination, pro-alternative therapies.
Political leaning: Unknown
Likes: Homeopathy, home birthing, conspiracy theories, 'homeopathic vaccination'
Dislikes: Fluoride, science
"Putting it as politely as I can, homoeopathic vaccination is crap."
- Dr Sue Page, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
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They oppose the TPP, advocate for renewable energy, have a huge list of policies on their website, but for some reason have not joined the Greens.
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: Renewable energy
Dislikes: TPP
"Aussies are really passionate about climate change"
- Jim Moylan, REP
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Only party with website for name. Has no policy position, intends to vote entirely based on polls of members. IMO in practice would probably vote similar to Pirate Party due to membership overlap.
Political leaning: None
Likes: Blockchain, distributed democracy
Dislikes: Actual democracy
"We are not running because we think we have the best ideas, like every other party in this election, we are running because we believe that the Australian people are the best to make these decisions and this enfranchises people to make those decisions."
- Nathan Spataro, Flux
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Highly conservative party, links to conservative Christian groups.
Political leaning: Far right
Likes: Workplace deregulation
Dislikes: Gays, renewable energy, abortion, injecting rooms
"Though Orlando is abhorrent, it doesn't change the real & present dangers of the gay marriage agenda to Aus children."
- Peter Madden, Family First
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Fred Nile and his merry band of homophobic conservative Christians.
Political leaning: Far right
Likes: Being Holier Than Thou, Praying for Rain on Mardi Gras, watching porn on parliamentary computers for "research"
Dislikes: Gays, the Burqa, topless bathing. Yes Fred Nile Actually complained about that once.
"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"
- Fred Nile
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These guys want to raise particular awareness of cuts to the Australia council and George Brandis redirecting money to his pet projects.
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: Artists, cannabis, gays
Dislikes: George Brandis, imprisoning children
"Want one million votes
For the balance of power
Wear an Arts T-shirt".
- Eido Boru, Arts Party poet-in-residence
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Conservative. Not in any way related to the Labor party (at least not for the last 50 years). Centrist on econonomic issues, but right on social issues. Actually attempted to wind back abortion laws in Victoria.
Political leaning: Mid-right
Likes: Small business
Dislikes: Abortion, gays, poker machines
"At the moment in Victoria, babies are being aborted up to birth for any reason, any reason at all,"
- Rachel Carling-Jenkins, DLP
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These guys are massive conspiracy theorists who follow the very strange views of an obscure American politician called Lyndon LaRouche. This is Grade-A, industrial strength crazy: they believe that the Queen directs every drug cartel on the planet and that there is a conspiracy around the proper tuning of pianos. They are also anti-semites.
Political leaning: Right Wing
Likes: Lyndon LaRouche
Dislikes: Jews, bankers, beast man Cheney
"LaRouche himself has long since become the walking punchline to a very strange joke. He is known for some of the most baroque conspiracy theories ever put into circulation. Members of the LYM now deny that he ever accused the Queen of England of drug trafficking - though in fact, he did exactly that throughout the 1980s. At the time, he won admirers on the extreme right wing by denouncing Henry Kissinger as an agent of the KGB and calling for AIDS patients to be quarantined."
- Scott McLemee
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Want to get religion out of politics, schools, other places.
Political leaning: Centre Left
Likes: Atheists, abortions, gays, humanist values.
Dislikes: Religion in politics, churches not paying tax
"A new report prepared by a researcher for the Secular Party has uncovered undeniable links between halal certification of Australian meat products and the genital mutilation of girls in Indonesia."
- Secular party website
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Fascists and bigots. Hierarchical party structure and explicitly anti-muslim positions.
Political leaning: Far Right
Likes: "Western Civilisation"
Dislikes: Muslims, gays
"We will stop the Islamisation of Australia and end divisive multiculturalism."
- Miscellaneous bigot
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Nick Xenophon, populist opportunist. Began with fuzzy anti-gambling position, now wants to roll back 40 years of tariff reform to benefit South Australia at everyone else's expense
Political leaning: Populist-centre
Likes: Votes, power, media attention, stunts at press conferences
Dislikes: Gambling, scientologists, South Australia dying a natural death
"Some people do drugs when they're young; I joined the Young Liberals."
- Nick Xenophon
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Single issue party, does what it says on the tin. Logo is literally Ricky Muir's face. Voting record is left-ish on workers rights, welfare, etc but the party itself doesn't have any explicit positions on these things so we can just chalk that up to Ricky Muir doing whatever he wants.
Political leaning: Centrist-ish
Likes: Cars, motorcycles, trucks, 4WDs
Dislikes: Anti-hooning laws
"If I'm going to go down, I'm going to go down fighting.''
- Ricky Muir
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Generally promotes equality and human rights, specifically focused around marriage equality. Claims not to be left-leaning, with 43% of members Liberals or those who usually vote Liberal.
Political leaning: Left-ish/Centrist
Likes: Gays, marriage
Dislikes: Imprisoning children
"The Australian Equality party will ensure Australia has a consistent voice for fairness, equality and LGBTIQ inclusion in parliament."
- Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, ME
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Bunch of racists.
Also economic protectionism, putting up trade walls and industry subsidisation by government. Plus, surprisingly enough, men's rights activism.
Political leaning: Far right
Likes: Racism, primary and secondary industry, bashing Asians and Muslims
Dislikes: My language has been murdered. My shopping trolley murdered, my groceries just gone. I don't like it.
"Please explain"
- Pauline Hanson
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The successor to the Communist Party of Australia. Or a direct descendant of the Trotskyist Socialist Worker's Party. Or the Democratic Socialist Party. Or none of the above. It's a real People's Front of Judea situation going on over there. Not to be confused with the Socialist Equality Party, who are more Trotskyist, maybe. Believe that revolutionary change and the destruction of the parliament, government administration, police and the military are necessary.
Political leaning: Far left
Likes: Venezuela 2 years ago
Dislikes: Being shown Venezuela now
"It is time to force corporations and rich bludgers to bring back the wealth from secret offshore bank accounts and pay their taxes just like the rest of us."
- Tim Gooden, SA
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Not to be confused with the Nationals, who were also known as the Country Party. As you would imagine, policies are all based around rural Australia.
Political leaning: Right-ish
Likes: Fishing, shooting, protectionism
Dislikes: Planning laws, imported pests, coal seam gas
"Government ? people who often have no clue as how those who work the land and live in country areas are doing it tough"
- ACP Website
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Formerly of the DLP, John Madigan?s Manufacturing and Farming Party is more or less another Working Man?s party, with a bit of protectionist thinking built in.
Political leaning: Right-ish
Likes: Manufacturing, farming
Dislikes: Abortions, gays
"Submarines are the spaceships of the ocean"
- John Madigan
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Single issue party. As hinted by their logo, want to decriminalise weed plus a bunch of other drugs.
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: People controlling their own bodies.
Dislikes: Police controlling the bodies of drug users.
"Why is it that more than 2 million Australians are technically criminals because they smoke cannabis, instead of drinking alcohol?"
- DLR website
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Single issue party around, you guessed it, voluntary euthanasia.
Political leaning: left wing
Likes: Assisted suicide
Dislikes: Painful lingering death
"We consider that we live in a civilised and humane society, so to force a dying individual to suffer at the end of their illness, against their will, is a disgrace."
- Shayne Higson, VEP
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A really confused policy base, calling for higher pensions, less wasteful spending. Some policies seem to contradict others. Talks about multiculturalism and a fair go for all, but wants to limit immigration to only people in "Australia's interests". Not for anyone using this website.
Political leaning: Right?
Likes: Assimilation, freedom of information, higher pensions
Dislikes: Government spending, the wrong kind of immigration
"The party equivalent of an angry letter to the local paper."
- Adam Strang
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A strange coalition of men in suits and country bumpkins. Currently run the country. If you don't know who they are, turn on the news.
Political leaning: Centre right
Likes: Jobs & Growth, imprisoning children, jobs and growth, investment properties, jobs and growth, not privatising medicare, jobs and growth, secretly privatising medicare
Dislikes: Losing, gays, poor people
"Leadership and personality politics tend to be an important driver of what happens inside the Liberal Party."
- Dr Nick Economou
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Formerly just the shooters party, has included farmers in an attempt to widen the base. Narrow range of policies, mainly around guns, fish, farming, and outdoor recreation. Wanted to allow shooting in national parks in NSW.
Political leaning: Right wing
Likes: Guns
Dislikes: Cute animals, the Greens
"I choose to hunt and gather my own meat because it is my right to do so, it's a clean, organic and sustainable way to live."
- Robert Borsak, on eating an elephant.
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Libertarian (i.e. wants less government with less power). Often supports traditionally left-associated causes (e.g. marriage equality) but in general is all about cutting government programs, government support and privatising the world. Election list almost exclusively male. Recent scandal for accepting $500,000 'donation' for someone to be on their ticket, in an unwinnable position.
Political leaning: Mid right, libertarian
Likes: Privatisation, free markets, assisted suicide, Gay marriage
Dislikes: Political correctness, the Greens, gun control, "big government".
"Private ownership of native animals will save them from extinction."
- David Leyonjhelm
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Racist fascist idiots. Involved in street brawls and protesting the building of new mosques. Their founder (Danny Nalliah) is actually Sri Lankan by birth, so they're at least diverse, but he's also a genuine young-earth creationist. So heavily religious anti-multiculturalism.
Political leaning: Far Right
Likes: Southern cross tattoos, punchups, misusing the Eureka Flag, thinking the earth is 6,000 years old.
Dislikes: Muslims, new mosques, women, anti-fascists.
"With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God. That His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.?
- Rev Dr Daniel Nalliah, RUA
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Centre-left party. Essentially every left-wing thinkpiece you've ever read on the internet coalesced into a policy platform. Alternatively, the kind of policies that The Greens or the Labor Left would draw up if uninhibited by polls and fear of the Murdoch press. Has oddly specific policies around dentistry, anti-corruption, and the ABC.
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: Having almost identical policies to Labor and the Greens
Dislikes: The ease and convenience of joining an existing political party
"We want to be a government with the guts to advance society through laws, services and infrastructure, rather than gambling on the off-chance that "the free market" will look after everyone and everything."
- AP website
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Slightly lefter than Labor, the third party of Australian politics (just). Greens press release mad-libs: "The old big parties can never *insert policy here*. Only the Australian Greens can *insert policy here*."
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: Trees, Carbon Pricing, The Great Barrier Reef, the seat of Grayndler, promising things they'll never have to deliver.
Dislikes: Imprisoning children, pointing out what a mess Tasmania is now
"Tony Abbott might think coal's good for humanity, of course it was an important driver in the story of the Australian nation. But when we're talking about the 21st Century and those industries that are gonna take us forward, it won't be coal."
- Richard di Natale, Greens
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Although on the left of politics they are more "libertarian". They stick up for sex workers but also take a stand against wowsers and censorship. Are actually doing a preference deal with Labor
Political leaning: Left wing
Likes: Gays, cannabis, secularism
Dislikes: The Greens, who they had a random falling out with for some reason, churches not paying tax, the religious right
"I can understand how some people can find the message 'screw the major parties' offensive, but taxing the church is a very legitimate and important policy that the Australian Sex Party has, for that to be censored is just ridiculous."
- Steven Bailey, Sex Party
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